25 April 2011

Clean up

I finished "Spring Flowers" and made a label for it. Now I wish I had seen the Kemshall's DMTV show about facings before I used a yard of hand dyed olive to pillowcase the quilt. I'm all set for the next one. At the same time I made a label for "Collateral Damage" but never put it on because I have never felt this quilt was done. It was the green tops of the trees that were giving me angst. Yesterday I removed all the hand dyed cheese cloth I used on the trees and knew I had to do it differently. I now love what I have done and hope to have it on the blog in a few days. I will also free motion on the strip of red silk charmeuse. Stay tuned.

A few days ago I decided to work out some ideas for "Spring Air". I finally found an excuse to use the new waterciors I bought from the DMTV store. Wow. I've never used such heavily pigmented watercolors before. Very luxurious. Anyway, I was trying to work out how to spread the billows of air out in a shape that could be hung.
This is as far as I got with my planning. I know that many times the quilt ends up looking little like the sketch but it is a start. Meanwhile I will continue tying up loose ends with "Collateral Damage" then move on to "Spring Air". I also have a series of crows I am doing as thread sketches. They should be interesting.

21 April 2011

Spring Flowers

I renamed the "spring 9 patch" after dyeing more fabric for another improvisational quilt about spring air. I have not started on this. I am doing a parfait dye for the technique driven blog I am involved with called And then we set it on fire  As I type I am over-dyeing 6 pieces of black and white fabric using yellow (bottom), blue (middle), and red (top) dyes in a parfait for the blog. Photos will be added to THIS post later today so if they're not here check back in a few hours.
I lost a good friend this week. She was a lovely lady I stayed nights with for 3 years and her loss has left a bit of a hole in my heart. I wanted to do a mindless piece of quilting to just let my mind spin in neutral so I made a pin cushion out of scraps from Spring Flowers. It was the first piece I made using paper piecing. It was fun and just what the doctor ordered. I got the pattern from the Kemshalls, Thr3fold Journal #4.
Here are the pieces I dyed Parfait style. What a bust. They are too primary even though I added a pinch of black to knock back the colors. Not every experiment is a success.

                                                      These are embroidery threads I added
                                                       This one I like.

15 April 2011

I'll never be a successful documenter

  This past weekend, the FIVE took a workshop from Wen Redmond on "Digging into digital printing". For the first time in so long I can't even remember when, I carefully saved samples and documented every step of each variety of medias both substrates and grounds. I came home and neatly placed everything in a plastic folder and placed it carefully on the shelf for future reference.

Today I decided to dye ONE piece of fabric for the back of my spring flowers quilt (a.k.a. Spring nine patch - see below). I was very excited about the wonderful olive green and used a turquoise sponge to wipe up a spill. OLIVE AND TURQUOISE! I made many trips up the stairs for more and more fabric, making turquoise with blue and black, then turquoise with golden yellow, then one with even more golden yellow. Then I thought "What if I take the fabric out of the dye after an hour (I used scalding hot water to mix the dyes) and add more fabric to the partially exhausted dye"? Or what if I use full strength dye in one pot and watered down dye in another?

Well, I am about to do the wash out now. My measurement of dye powder was haphazard. How much water did I add to each pot? What exactly did I do to which? I guess my commitment to documentation has fallen by the wayside. I guess when the muse is dancing there is no time for writing, at least in my studio...

07 April 2011

The muse was dancing this week

After a month of being in a rut, not creatively, but kinetically, I have made three quilts. Two are quilted and bound and today I will quilt the last piece and pillowcase it. First I think I should say a few things about kinetics. Judith came over this Saturday and we just jumped in with both feet experimenting with new techniques. I had had all the supplies needed to do these techniques but it was being able to hold someones hand as we both jumped off the cliff that was needed to take a thought and then take the action to make it real. Thank you Judith.

I finally used that beautiful sky fabric to make and finish "Vernal Pond". I had dyed the fabrics I needed, cut three stamps for the grass and had all the ProFab paint anyone could want. I just couldn't jump. I think the work Judith and I did really helped push me off the precipice.

We had done some silk screening at Kathy's community center mid-winter and I didn't know where to go with the pieces I made. "Fly Away" is what came out.

I dyed some green fabric for a quilt about bees. It was NOT the color I wanted but I loved it. It was a yummy olive green color. I took part of it and over dyed it. Now it was darker olive green - even yummier but not the color I wanted. Well, I took the olives (both) and teamed them with some lovely purples, lavender and pinks for a representation of what I think of as Spring! I just stared to improvisationally piece these colors with a vague idea if where I was going. I just wanted to make some improv squares or should I say squarish.blocks of spring color. I will be quilting this today with both tight machine quilting and a looser hand stitch. Meanwhile you can enjoy the fabulous colors of spring...
Image that I silk screened onto fabric
Image on another fabric with words, hand stitching and a mother crow calling sketch then painted (outline) with free motion sketched details.
                                                              Vernal Pond
                                                                Vernal pond detail
                                               Improvisationally pieced  "Spring Nine Patch"